Reviewed by: Lesley Tarrant Belcourt
First published 1969
Second Edition June 2001
In a talk entitled "Traps on the Spiritual Path" which he gave in 1984, the late Geoffrey Dent described how in the early stages of his spiritual development he invented a mental shelf upon which to place all the teachings of White Eagle he could not accept, namely those about nature spirits, devas, fairies and angels.
Geoffrey's shelf gradually emptied over the years, but his initial reluctance at accepting the idea of an invisible fairy kingdom working under the command of an angelic kingdom is shared by many. As a book devoted to teaching us about these invisible life-forms that interpenetrate our physical world, 'Spiritual Unfoldment 2' may read for some like science fiction or fantasy, but White Eagle is aware of this skepticism. "Keep an open mind," he advises, "there is so much in heaven and earth which is undreamt of in earthly philosophy."
In recent years humanity has grown to understand its causal impact on the environment, on nature and other species, and is realizing it does not live in total isolation from other species sharing our planet. White Eagle takes us a step further by disclosing that behind physical life there exists a spiritual counterpart with which we must live in harmony. "Don't be greedy, my dears," he gently chides, "why should humans be the only spiritual manifestations on the earth plane, and all other forms but empty shells?"
In the preface of 'Spiritual Unfoldment 2,' Ivan Cooke's concern about our use of chemical fertilizers and artificial stimulants to grow food may be read with greater understanding today than when it was originally published in 1969. "Time was," Ivan writes, "that nature spirits worked together with men and women ...sowing, tending and reaping of crops...fairies and angels were a part of daily life." Nature spirits, fairies and gnomes may be dismissed by some as mere fiction, yet White Eagle says fairy tales contain gems of spiritual truth and devotes a chapter to the spiritual interpretation of familiar folklore.
Based on talks given by White Eagle and re-published with minor language revisions in 2001, 'Spiritual Unfoldment 2' becomes an important book in this age of Aquarius, for it offers us a broader perspective on the meaning of brotherhood. Angels and humans are brothers and sisters, White Eagle tells us, "through their kinship of spirit." Angelic beings arrived from Venus to create form-life on the new planet earth long before humans. Later, those humans who had reached a certain stage of evolution on another planet also came to earth, and thus came into existence the two types of beings concerned with the creation of earth life--the great planetary beings (angels) and the God-men/women.
In eight chapters and 100 pages, 'Spiritual Unfoldment 2' gives us a panoramic view of the interconnectedness of the universe, beginning with the vibration of the Word which caused the Light, which in turn divided into seven rays of life, each guided by one of the Great Masters of Wisdom. "From each ray comes another seven, and from each again yet another seven, so that behind and within the veil of physical life are countless hosts of beings, both of the human line of evolution and of the natural and angelic. The life within every growing thing is brought into manifestation, sustained and fed by these countless hosts."
White Eagle opens our imaginations to the colorful creations that inhabit the fine ether interpenetrating the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. We espy long-bearded gnomes building palaces from alabaster and creating minerals, stones and jewels within the earth. We sympathize with the air-sylphs who dislike "machines tearing through the air," at the same time welcoming their inspiration and artistic creativity. We respect the fun-loving fire-salamanders, easily upset by "a fierce temper." and "always present in the kindling flame." We are entranced by "graceful water- undines," closely connected with our human emotions, "clothed in a shimmering substance... all the colors of the sea." Numerous other fairy spirits working within these four groups all follow their own specific lines of work. Many of these creatures eventually merge into the angel kingdom, for all these nature spirits are commanded by angels influenced by one of the three major Rays from which all life comes: Wisdom, Love and Power
Angels have received enormous acceptance in popular culture over the past decade. Not since the Victorians used the name angel to label "good" women has so much prominence been given to angels by the media, much of the information misguided. White Eagle tells us that angelic beings come from a different line of evolution than humans. Dispassionate beings, angels often have difficulty coming close to humans who have not learned to control their emotions. The prime concern of the angelic hierarchies is with evolution and the building of form, whereas the elder brethren's concern is with the growth of spiritual consciousness within that form. Each line relies on the cooperation of the other. "The angels and great spiritual beings have to work through human channels in order to build heavenly powers into human consciousness."
Although angels work closely with humans, it is rare for these two lines of evolution to cross boundaries. Sometimes each is drawn into closer association with the other--the magician Merlin appears to have been the result of such a union between angel and human--yet essentially angels and humans belong to different lines and have distinctive roles. A guardian angel, "custodian of the karmic law which rules all life" is appointed to each human, guiding it along its chosen path from birth to death. "Every time you respond to a good spiritual impulse, you are helped by your guardian angel," says White Eagle. Attending human birth is also an angel of Birth, likewise at death, an angel of Death with "a face of ineffable mercy, pity and love." Other angels are concerned with soul attributes, such as Love, Mercy, Truth and even Music, for music influences the soul. Angels of Ceremonial and Ritual assist in the gathering and distribution of power at great ceremonies, while angels of Healing, working under the Master Jesus, carry and distribute healing power.
For those who accept the existence of myriad forms of invisible life, gaining knowledge and understanding of our own relationship with these various life-forms becomes essential to our progress along the spiritual path. "If the soul desires to reach the Divine it must itself help the hosts of angels in their work...it must serve the cause of brotherhood, of evolution." So what is it that humans need to do to contribute to this harmonious brotherhood of life?
White Eagle suggests that by becoming aware of these other forms of life, we are making the first step on the spiritual path. "A brother-sister of the Great White Lodge is aware of his-her relationship to all forms of life...can identify with the tiniest insect, with the flowers, sunlight and gentle rains." He also reminds us that one of the biggest contribution humans can make is through the power of thought, for thought is essentially creative material. "Thoughts are drawn by magnetic attraction towards other thought-streams, either positive or negative."Angels take and mould thought to create form. Tiny elementals who work with plants are created by the minds of angels at the head of their particular group-soul, yet unlike true fairies, which evolve to higher forms of life, these elementals fade back into the ether once their work is completed. Human thought, "the healing substance which you can give forth from your mind and heart" can also be manipulated and used by angels. It can be used for positive good, as in healing services, for "all uplifting positive constructive thoughts contribute to that great stream of Divine light." On the other hand, negative thought, violent emotions, alcoholic deliriums create elementals from the lower ethers, which cling to the one who creates them. "When people begin to understand what they are creating by their thoughts and their actions and their emotions, they will perhaps understand the great need for discipline in their life."
Primarily, humans need to become more aware of the importance they play in God's greater scheme, for "the human is an ideal form through which God can manifest on earth." All forms of life, natural, angelic and planetary assume the human form to some degree. White Eagle asks us to view our human brethren differently, to see the divine within each other, to recognize the "innate divinity of humanity."
'Spiritual Unfoldment 2' has often been a hard-to-find book in my home library, as it has been borrowed more often than any White Eagle book on my shelves. White Eagle's detailed descriptions of the fascinating work of nature spirits who beautify our world, the glorious connection between angels and humans and the use of simple language to depict the profundity of creation, have all contributed to the book's strong appeal. "Profound truths are so simple that often men and women in their arrogance overlook the truth."